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COVID-19

How COVID-19 has changed where Americans live

Kimberly Adams Jul 7, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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The biggest share of the movers was young people ages 18 to 29. Cindy Ord/Getty Images
COVID-19

How COVID-19 has changed where Americans live

Kimberly Adams Jul 7, 2020
The biggest share of the movers was young people ages 18 to 29. Cindy Ord/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The pandemic has changed how we work, how we live and, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center, for many, it’s changing where we live.

Pew ran a survey in early June, and found about 22% of adults in the U.S. either moved because of the pandemic or know someone who has.

The biggest share of the movers was young people ages 18 to 29. About 1 in 10 of those adults relocated because of COVID-19, many prompted by college shutdowns.

People surveyed also told Pew they left to reduce their risk of catching the virus or because of financial reasons like job losses.

Actor Tracey Stephens was touring with a political comedy troupe that had all its shows cancelled when the pandemic started.

“I just had to make a choice, where either I stay in D.C., paying crazy rent with no job, or do I pack things up and just sit and wait it out? But better to sit and wait it out with family,” Stephens said.

Stephens ended her lease and moved in with her parents in Atlanta, where she’s finding some work.

Thirteen percent left their homes for a second home or vacation property, but 61% of the millions of people relocating because of the pandemic moved in with family, primarily with their parents or in-laws.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Are people still waiting for unemployment payments?

Yes. There is no way to know exactly how many people have been waiting for months and are still not getting unemployment, because states do not have a good system in place for tracking that kind of data, according to Andrew Stettner of The Century Foundation. But by his own calculations, only about 60% of people who have applied for benefits are currently receiving them. That means there are millions still waiting. Read more here on what they are doing about it.

Are we going to see another wave of grocery store shortages?

Well, public health officials are warning that we could see a second wave of the virus before the end of the year. And this time retailers want to be prepared if there’s high demand for certain products. But they can’t rely totally on predictive modeling. People’s shopping habits have ebbed and flowed depending on the state of COVID-19 cases or lockdowns. So, grocers are going to have to trust their guts.

What’s going to happen to retailers, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching?

A report out Tuesday from the accounting consultancy BDO USA said 29 big retailers filed for bankruptcy protection through August. And if bankruptcies continue at that pace, the number could rival the bankruptcies of 2010, after the Great Recession. For retailers, the last three months of this year will be even more critical than usual for their survival as they look for some hope around the holidays.

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